www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Hays' Deterding second at Rocky Welton -2/1/2015, 8:42 AM

TMP's Rhoades wins title at Western Kan. TOC -2/1/2015, 8:33 AM

KU topples Kansas State -2/1/2015, 8:10 AM

Tiger men fall to Washburn -2/1/2015, 10:38 PM

Local bowler Ubert wins tourney in Omaha -2/1/2015, 8:58 PM

Northern Iowa routs Wichita State, hands Shockers MVC loss -2/1/2015, 8:49 PM

Big fourth quarters leads TMP girls to win -2/1/2015, 8:49 PM

Abilene ends TMP boys' streak -2/1/2015, 8:49 PM

HHS girls fall in OT at Mac tourney -2/1/2015, 8:49 PM

Big night for Werth sets new mark -2/1/2015, 8:49 PM

Tiger women win again -- 19 straight -2/1/2015, 8:12 AM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/31/2015, 3:29 PM

HHS girls fall, will play for 7th -1/30/2015, 5:29 PM

Tiger baseball picked 11th in MIAA -1/30/2015, 1:58 PM

TMP picks up dual win at Plainville -1/30/2015, 10:31 AM

Olathe South too much for Hays High -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Hoxie girls chase record -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

KSU prepares for Allen Fieldhouse -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Wichita State will appeal ruling that takes away baseball wins -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Nino Williams unlikely to play for Wildcats -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Kratz homers twice in Royals' win

Published on -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By Andy McCullough

McClatchy-Tribune

The sequence confirmed the blessed fortune shining on the Royals, even as the events hinted at the organization's darkest fear. In the seventh inning of a 6-4 victory over Minnesota on Monday, Salvador Perez stood inside the dugout with his shirt untucked and his right knee sore. It was his turn to bat. He would not. Instead Erik Kratz, a 34-year-old backup acquired last month, headed to the plate.

"That's one of the reasons we got him," manager Ned Yost said. "We knew that he had power."

Kratz jumped on the first pitch he saw, allowing the team a moment to forget about Perez's condition. The impact shattered his bat. His power still propelled the baseball over the left-field fence. For good measure, he boomed a second homer in the ninth, giving him his first career multihomer game, and temporarily obscuring the concern over Perez's knee.

The team phrased the injury as "discomfort" as the game wound down. A club official relayed that Perez was removed as a "precautionary measure." The Royals listed his availability as "day to day." Perez missed 67 games after tearing his left meniscus in the spring of 2012.

Perez "pinched" his patella tendon as he rounded second base shortly after his two-run single in the fifth, Yost said. He caught two more innings. As he usually does, he insisted he could play Tuesday at Coors Field in Denver. Yost stressed there was no structural damage to the joint. "Just tight," Perez said.

The injury sullied an otherwise tidy evening. The Royals (69-55) nabbed their eighth consecutive series victory. Jason Vargas (10-5, 3.17 ERA) extended his streak of scoreless innings to 17 before yielding a solo homer in the seventh. He lasted seven innings in all, allowing only four hits along the way, as his teammates returned to normalcy after an eventful four days at Target Field.

A bothersome outing by Greg Holland mitigated the happiness of Friday's victory. The offense sputtered on Saturday, then dropped a dozen runs on their rain-soaked foes the next afternoon. On Monday evening, amid another brief shower, the Royals resembled the club that has raced past Detroit in the American League Central.

The hitters punished an erratic rookie starter. Perez came through with a two-run single, and Billy Butler followed with a run-scoring hit of his own in the fifth. Vargas shined in his clinical manner. Kratz crushed the two late-game long balls to pad the advantage. After Aaron Crow surrendered a three-run blast in the ninth, Holland emerged from the bullpen for his 38th save.

"He came in, banging strikes, with good stuff," Yost said. "Closed it out for us."

The pitching matchup favored the Royals. Vargas returned to the mound after his finest outing as a Royal. He had spun a three-hit shutout against Oakland on Wednesday. On Monday he looked in danger of allowing a run in the first frame.

Twins leadoff man Danny Santana singled, advanced to second on a groundball and stole third. But there he lingered, stranded when Vargas struck out Joe Mauer with a changeup and let Kennys Vargas hit a harmless infield fly for the third out. From there, Vargas settled into a groove.

Asked what was working on the mound, Vargas shied away from the credit. "The infielders and outfielders' gloves," he said. "They were able to catch the ball and make all the plays."

Vargas squared off with Minnesota rookie Trevor May, a 24-year-old once considered a mid-tier prospect. It was his second big-league start. In his first, nine days prior, he had walked seven Athletics and yielded four runs in two innings.

Facing the Royals, May lost his command in the fifth. He issued walks to Alcides Escobar, Jarrod Dyson and Omar Infante. The third free pass occurred with two outs. Up to the plate strode Perez, who promptly swung at the first pitch, a thigh-high slider. A two-run single nestled into the center-field grass.

The next batter was Butler. He roped the next pitch into center for another RBI single, a run aided by the Twins' incompetence. Infante braked as he rounded third and checked the outfield before re-engaging in a sprint homeward. Santana made a strong peg, but backup catcher Eric Fryer fumbled the catch. Infante tip-toed across the plate.

Perez dinged himself in that rally. Kratz filled the void. His arrival last month marked the reorganization of the club's bench. The Royals acquired him from Toronto in exchange for Danny Valencia. Christian Colon replaced Valencia as a more versatile backup infielder. Kratz offers more power than Brett Hayes, Perez's backup for much of the season.

His role is unique. Perez is a fixture in the lineup. His off-days are rare. But Kratz still insists on staying fresh each evening.

"You put your work in before the game as a bench guy to be ready to go in," Kratz said. "Some people could say 'Well, Salvy plays every day. So why not take a day off?' My opinion is: What's the point of taking the day off if that's the day you might come in and play."

The strength was on display with both of his swings. The broken-bat homer impressed Yost. The second homer cleared the fence in center, even if his bat stayed intact.

"The next person is just ready to step up," Vargas said. "Salvy is a huge part of our team. But at the same time, we've got to keep him healthy, and keep him in there for the long haul. For Kratz to come in and step up and go big fly twice, it was pretty nice."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.

Kansas News